Pass the chopsticks: Four new Asian eateries serving craveable food in Cape Town

From Japanese yakatori (skewers) to Korean fried chicken, Capetonians are spoilt for choice when it comes Asian food

01 April 2021 - 06:00 By Steve Steinfeld
Stickman by Fyn's chicken gyoza (Japanese dumplings).
Stickman by Fyn's chicken gyoza (Japanese dumplings).
Image: Bruce Tuck via Wanted Online

From Japanese yakatori (skewers) to Korean fried chicken, Capetonians are spoilt for choice when it comes Asian food. Here are four new Asian eateries serving craveable food in the Mother City:

1. STICKMAN BY FYN

If you’re in the mood for delicious, no-fuss Japanese fare while dining in, make Stickman by Fyn your go-to choice for Asian takeaways.

The brainchild of celebrated chef Peter Tempelhoff, it's a dark kitchen — a growing breed of delivery-only restaurants — inspired by Japan's izakayas (casual bars).

The name Stickman is a nod to the yakatori (Japanese kebabs) on offer, which are expertly cooked on a specialised grill. There are chicken, meat, seafood and vegetarian "sticks" available. We recommend adding a donburi (a bowl of sticky rice with Japanese pickles, ferments and sauce) to your yakatori order for a heartier meal.

Stickman by Fyn's yakatori.
Stickman by Fyn's yakatori.
Image: Bruce Tuck via Wanted Online

Don’t miss out on the ramen dish either — the menu option changes weekly — or if you're feeling adventurous opt for omakase, which is the chef's selection of seven skewers plus donburi.

Sides and extras include miso soup with homemade tofu, a range of gyoza dumplings, and in-house fermented kimchi.

 Stickman by Fyn can be ordered online for delivery via the Bolt Food app, and will soon be available to order for collection on Fyn’s website.

Chef Sepial Shim's signature Korean fried chicken at Allium.
Chef Sepial Shim's signature Korean fried chicken at Allium.
Image: Supplied via Wanted Online

2. ALLIUM

Following the success of chef Sepial Shim's first restaurant Sepial’s Kitchen — a 12-seater eatery in Salt River — and fuelled by the popularity of her Asian food at Cape Town's trendy gourmet markets, she opened Allium in February.

Housed in the chic Speaker’s Corner in the CBD, this restaurant is all about fresh, vibrant and authentic cooking.

Along with the Korean dishes for which Shim has become known — trying her signature Korean fried chicken is a must — the fare on offer draws inspiration from northeast Asian cuisines and includes some of her favourite Chinese and Japanese dishes.

The food offering is concise and includes two set menu options — the bibimbap set (named after a Korean "mixed rice" dish) and the Korean BBQ set (serves two and requires booking 24 hours in advance) — plus a small selection of extras.

Allium is located on the ground floor of Speaker's Corner, 37 Parliament Street. Visit sepialskitchen.com

3. THE UGLY DUMPLING

The Ugly Dumpling — a more casual offering from Shim, which was also launched during lockdown — is a market stall serving fresh dumplings (with an array of fillings) and bao buns for takeaway and delivery.

The menu changes often, and Shim is always working on recipes. Whether these are new dishes or improved versions of the old ones, the end results are always delicious.

We recommend the pork dumplings (a real fan favourite), and the pakchoi and prawn, or fried spicy kimchi to start  before indulging in one of the filled steamed buns.

• You'll find The Ugly Dumpling at the V&A Waterfront Food Market. Visit sepialskitchen.com

Bonus! Craving even more of Shim’s Asian delights? We don’t blame you. Look out for her pop up, Sepial's Kitchen, at the Oranjezicht Farmers Market. Make sure to try her famous Korean fried chicken and stock up on kimchi while you’re there.

Delicious Japanese desserts from Mochi Mochi by Torii.
Delicious Japanese desserts from Mochi Mochi by Torii.
Image: Supplied via Wanted Online

4. MOCHI MOCHI BY TORII

Mochi Mochi by Torii is a Japan-inspired dessert bar by the all-star team at Tjing Tjing House.

Situated inside Longmarket Street’s Molten Toffee coffee shop, the pop-up is all about mochi — a popular Japanese rice cake — that is offered in a host of exciting and innovative flavours. From toasted sesame and matcha to milk tart and lemon meringue, there’s sure to be a mochi to suit everyone’s taste.

In addition to the mochi, there’s also a tantalising selection of other desserts including the eatery’s famous Japanese cheesecake and heavenly miso caramel bun.

In true Tjing Tjing style, the interior has been kitted out to match the theme with giant stickers plastering the walls featuring the bar’s cartoon character, Mochi, and Japanese-inspired decals.

• Visit Mochi Mochi by Torii at 161 Longmarket Street and follow them on Instagram

This story is adapted from articles originally published on Wanted Online's website. Visit wantedonline.co.za for the latest in luxury lifestyle news.